Each week, I put out a request to crops educators and specialists from the University of Illinois to compile an update to share with the entire state. We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or suggestions about the format or any feedback in general about these updates, please email me (email@example.com).
Aaron Hager, Extension Weeds Specialist, University of Illinois
The last day to apply dicamba-containing products to dicamba-resistant soybean is Monday, June 20. Applicators are reminded that applications of dicamba-containing products to dicamba-resistant soybean are not allowed if the actual or forecast air temperature the day of application exceeds 85 degrees.
Nick Seiter, Field Crop Insects Extension Specialist, University of Illinois
Rootworm larvae are now easy to find in our trial field in Champaign; egg hatch should be underway throughout the state now. This is a good time to dig some plants up and look for larvae to get a feel for the level of larval feeding pressure you might be experiencing, as well as an initial idea of control performance. Watch for areas experiencing symptoms of drought stress despite what should be adequate moisture as an above-ground indication of rootworm feeding. If you’re interested in rootworm trapping this summer, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emerson Nafziger, Agronomy Extension Specialist (retired), University of Illinois
While corn and soybean condition ratings continue to be very good, there are concerns about ongoing lack of rainfall and high temperatures. Nearly all of Illinois has had below-normal rainfall the first half of June, and this, along with high temperatures, are forecast to continue through next week. This has not yet lowered yield potential in most fields, but as leaf area expands and daily water use increases, we can expect symptoms of water stress to appear in more fields, and to appear earlier in the day as soil water decreases. Mineralization of nitrogen from soil organic matter as been high, and N loss has been minimal, so N the N supply for the corn crop is good. If more N is needed, injecting UAN rather than dribbling it on the soil surface will help prevent volatilization loss.
Phillip Alberti, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Northern IL
Remarkable how fast conditions can change. As expected, extremely dry, hot conditions have hit the region hard. Earlier planted corn and soybeans are the better for it with deeper root systems that can handle this early season dry periods better. Corn (V2-4) and soybeans (V2-V3) in the region have shown promise with good stand establishment and some favorable conditions, but with no relief in sight, we are hoping for a few pop-up storms to provide some relief.
Talon Becker, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, South Central IL
Hot, dry, and windy weather this past week has dried things out considerably. Corn that is at the V1-V2 stage with smaller root systems is starting to look wilted and stressed in some areas, particularly fields where spring tillage was performed. Most soybeans in the area are just at VC-V1, although there are a few fields I’ve seen closer to the V2-V3 growth stage. Moisture stress has been less visible in soybeans from my road surveys, but the fact that most beans in this area are planted no-till may have bought them a few extra days before the moisture in the top several inches of soil depletes.
Nathan Johanning, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Southwestern IL
It is hot and dry. Crops are feeling the pressure of multiple days of highs in the upper 90s and lows only getting to the upper 70s to 80 and intense sun. We have only gotten a few sprinkles of rain in the last week and crops are starting to show some signs of stress in the afternoons. Wheat on the other hand is greatly benefiting from this weather and is drying quickly. I have seen a few farmers start cutting wheat. The fields I checked, kernels were still soft to starting to get a bit of a crunch to them so maybe roughly 20% moisture. With weather like we have now that moisture will disappear in a hurry!
Doug Gucker, Local Foods Small Farms Educator, Central IL
This past week has seen temperatures across the area from the mid-70s to the upper 90s deg. F. Rainfall for the month is running at a deficit of 1.75 – 2″ since June 1. Shallow soil moisture is dry, but crops still looking good due to adequate subsoil moisture. End rows on a few fields are showing the effects of crops having difficulty reaching subsoil moisture. All fields appear to be planted now with corn development varying for V3 – V7 and soybeans development varying from unifoliate to R1. Still seeing fields where weeds in the amaranth family over 8 inches tall are trying to be controlled with post-emergent herbicide applications. :(